Potential assassins have threatened the life of Jimmy Carter multiple times since he left the White House in 1981, making the one-term Georgian the most threatened former president in history, according to a new book about John F. Kennedy and his assassination 50 years ago.
In "The Kennedy Half Century: The Presidency, Assassination, and Lasting Legacy of John F. Kennedy," Carter told author Larry J. Sabato that he has faced at least three home-grown assassination attempts since returning to Georgia and is constantly warned by the U.S. Secret Service of personal threats during his frequent overseas travel.
"I have had two or three threats to my life after I came home from the White House," Carter said in the highly-anticipated book due out October 22. "When I go on an overseas trip almost invariably, I get a report from the Secret Service that where I'm going is very dangerous," he added in the book provided in advance to Secrets.
Carter also told Sabato: "Sometimes they [Secret Service] ask me not to go, and I go anyway. They and I both just laugh about it. So I have been more concerned about my safety in doing the Carter Center's business overseas than I ever was in the White House."
When Carter lost in the 1980 election to former President Ronald Reagan, who Sabato said was the first president to please Americans since JFK died, he set up his Carter Center to conduct humanitarian duties overseas. He has also been used by presidents to fly into troubled areas like Haiti during disasters and also to oversee contentious elections.
Sabato's book is the product of an in depth project to research and retell the story of Kennedy. He told Secrets, "We've worked on this for almost five years and believe we have the most comprehensive book ever on JFK, to be released just in time for the 50th anniversary." The advance copy included redacted sections that Sabato said will include some new details on the November 1963 assassination.
Sabato runs the University of Virginia's Center for Politics.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.